Growing PawPaws in Montomgery County
Hello, Which varieties of PawPaw trees would you recommend for a home pawpaw patch in Montgomery County MD? Thanks!
Montgomery County Maryland
We do not have a reference list of ideal cultivars for growing in MD, though various breeders and local growers have their own preferences based on harvest potential, fruit quality (flavor, texture, seediness), and so forth. Pawpaws are not susceptible to many serious pests or diseases, so selection for this resilience is not critically important as it can be among other fruit trees. As such, selection based on your preferences for fruit quality and harvest potential is more of a personal choice. Some vendors at area farmer's markets may grow pawpaw; you could ask them if they have preferred varieties based on their experiences in growing and selling the fruit.
There is a pawpaw grower in Frederick, MD, named Michael Judd, who recently published a book on pawpaw growing. (It may be at area libraries when they reopen.) Their farm, Long Creek Homestead, advertises a pawpaw festival in early autumn; fruit tastings are listed as part of the event. Neal Peterson, an early pawpaw breeder working through Kentucky State University, has introduced his own line of varieties: https://www.petersonpawpaws.com/. Most local nurseries propagating pawpaw grow them from seed; grafted plants are needed for cultivar propagation, and these will have a higher cost. Either will perform well in our area; you can use any two seed-grown trees to cross-pollinate, or one seed-grown and one grafted tree, or two grafted trees of different varieties. (Pawpaws are generally not self-fertile.) The age of trees commonly sold will be several years younger than fruiting age.